Should the July 31 MLB Trade Deadline get pushed back to mid-August?
That's the tough question baseball fans have been pondering since the addition of the second Wild Card spot in each league, making it far more difficult for some clubs to tell whether to be buyers or sellers by the end of July.
Most Teams Are Still In The Race
As of July 27, only the Houston Astros, Colorado Rockies, Chicago Cubs, San Diego Padres, Milwaukee Brewers, Minnesota Twins, Kansas City Royals and Seattle Mariners can be considered legitimately out of both the divisional and wild card races.
Teams on the fringe, like the New York Mets, Arizona Diamondbacks and Toronto Blue Jays, may have conceeded their playoff hopes by this point in the season in years past, but the extra wild card slot will definitely keep some them in the race.
While the Mets are three games under .500 and 11.5 games behind the Washington Nationals for first place in the NL East, they have just 6.5 games to make up in the Wild Card column with two months of season left to play.
It's a longshot, but crazier things have happened. My Mets fandom aside, pushing the trade deadline back to mid-August would clearly benefit plenty of other teams trying to analyze what to do with their seasons.
Inactive Trade Deadline?
The trade deadline is one of the most fun times of the year for baseball fans, and more teams thinking they are in the playoff race will undoubtedly make for an inactive trade deadline.
The fans love seeing All-Star caliber talent flying from team to team, and seeing what kind of prospects get sent back in return. It's great for baseball, but the extra wild card team is a real game-changer.
I believe the Mets are a great example, as they could realistically be just a handful of games behind the Pittsburgh Pirates for the No. 2 NL Wild Card spot by the current July 31 deadline.
If they had until Aug. 15, there would be a lot more time to see if they are a true contender or just another pretender. This year is important, as we could trade off key chips like Johan Santana or Daniel Murphy for prospects, or go the other route by trading prospects to bulk up the bullpen for the stretch run.
With standout pitchers like Huston Street possibly on the trade market, the Mets need a little more time to assess their status. Bud Selig needs to give MLB teams more time to sort the contenders from the non-contenders, and that means pushing the trade deadline back to mid-August.
Should the July 31 Trade Deadline get pushed back? Let me know in the comments.
Eric Holden is a lifelong New York Mets fan. Follow him on Twitter @ericholden.
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